US stocks mostly higher on earnings reports

US stocks opened generally higher Thursday after a stream of earnings reports from large companies yielded better-than-expected results in more cases than not.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.63 (0.24 percent) to 15,508.15.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 2.67 (0.16 percent) at 1,683.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.58 (0.04 percent) to 3,608.42.

While there were some exceptions, several leading companies, including IBM, American Express and Morgan Stanley, exceeded analyst expectations.

Stocks also received an upwards nudge from weekly initial jobless claims that fell to 334,000, a two-month low and better than the 348,000 seen by analysts.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke returns to Capitol Hill Thursday for a second day of testimony to Congress. Wednesday's hearing yielded no major surprises and resulted in a muted response from equity markets.

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